Women in Politics: A Comparative Perspective of Sweden and Japan

Eventposter women in politics with the Swedish and Japanese flags in the background

Thursday 17 March 2022 / 13:00 - 14:30 / Zoom

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Democratic progress is critically intertwined with female participation and democratic institutions and societal actors are stronger with female participation. Japan is the oldest democracy in Northeast Asia. Yet challenges to empower female political participation in the country have lingered turning Japan into a laggard in comparison to its democratic neighbors in the region. 2021 saw Sweden celebrate 100 years of female political enfranchisement. Although obstacles to full gender equality still remain, the country, together with its Nordic neighbors, has a long history of progressing female political participation.  

The Stockholm Japan Center is happy to host a discussion on the factors that have hindered and empowered women in parliamentary institutions, exchanging Swedish and Japanese perspectives. Taking stock of the 2021 general election in Japan and looking ahead to upcoming elections in both countries, please join us for an enlightening discussion with our distinguished guests.  


Ms. Boriana ÅbergSwedish Member of Parliament for the Moderate Party and Chair of the Sweden-Taiwan Parliamentarian Friendship Association and Vice Chair of the Sweden-Japan Parliamentarian Friendship Association. 

Professor Noriko MizutaThe Chancellor and President at the International Institute for Media and Women’s Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. Her research areas include women’s studies and comparative literature.  

Ms. Lena SundhRetired Swedish diplomat who has also served in the UN. She has i.a  been ambassador to Angola, Special Envoy of Sweden to the Africa Great Lakes region and counsellor for political affairs at the Swedish Mission to the UN in New York.  

Dr. Yasuko WachiBoard member and vice president of the International Institute for Media and Women’s Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Lars Vargö – Moderator 
Former Swedish Ambassador to Japan (2011-14) and South Korea (2006-11). He holds a Ph.D. in Japanese studies (history) from the University of Stockholm (1982). He graduated from Uppsala University 1972 with a major in sinology.